Four University of Tennessee at Chattanooga players and two from Sewanee earned membership in the 2020 NFF Hampshire Honor Society, the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame announced Wednesday.
UTC seniors Colin Brewer, Marshall Cooper, Jonathan Stovall and Nick Tiano make up the largest group of Hampshire honorees in Mocs history and were among the 14 representatives from the Southern Conference on the 2020 list.
"It's quite an accomplishment for those young men to be great students and have an impact on the football field as well," UTC coach Rusty Wright said. "They are all well deserving for the recognition, and all of them will be successful in their future endeavors. We are definitely proud of their recognition."
Sewanee's selections among the 1,451 players across all levels of the college game — NCAA Divisions I (Football Bowl Subdivision and Football Championship Subdivision), II and II, plus NAIA — were quarterback Alex Darras and defensive lineman Joseph Marasciullo.
Members of the NFF Hampshire Honor Society must meet strict requirements to be considered. For the current class, each must have completed his final year of playing eligibility in 2019; must have achieved a 3.2 cumulative GPA throughout the entire course of undergraduate study; must have met all NCAA- or NAIA-mandated progress toward degree requirements; and must have been a starter or significant contributor throughout the 2019 season.
Tiano, a Baylor School graduate, passed for nearly 6,000 yards in three years as a starter after transferring from Mississippi State. He also earned All-SoCon academic honors this year. Cooper, a Hixson High School graduate, had 203 tackles in his two years as a starting linebacker, making the All-SoCon first team this past season and twice being named to the All-SoCon academic team.
Brewer, another Baylor alum, was a four-year starter as the Mocs' punter. He averaged more than 40 yards per punt in his career and was a three-time member of the All-SoCon academic team. Stovall, a native of Tullahoma, Tennessee, appeared in 13 games after transferring from Carson-Newman for his final two seasons and was an All-SoCon academic team member this year.
A total of 17 Mocs have gained membership into the Hampshire Honor Society since it began. Alex Trotter was honored last year, joining Adam Miller (2012), Shane Heatherly (2012), C.J. Murrell (2013), Patrick Sutton (2013), Nick Pollard (2014), Davis Tull (2014), Jacob Huesman (2015), Derrick Craine (2016), Jacob Revis (2016), Hunter Townson (2016), Alex Hooper (2018) and Branden Parker (2018) in the prestigious group.
As for Sewanee, Darras — who is from Ooltewah and played at Notre Dame High School — and Marasciullo brought the Division III Tigers' number of total Hampshire honorees to 24 since the program launched in 2007. Darras made the Southern Athletic Association's academic honor roll three times, and on the field he completed 57.1% of his passes for 4,389 passing yards with 27 touchdowns in 22 career games.
The Chattanooga area is also represented on this year's list by Tusculum University running back Christian Bell from Soddy-Daisy; Jacksonville State University's Josh Brady, a long snapper who prepped at Silverdale Baptist Academy; Berry College's Hayden Murphy, a tight end who went to Gordon Central High School; Cumberland University linebacker Tyler Tate, who prepped at Whitwell; and former Dalton High School quarterback Payton Veraldi from Lindsey Wilson College.
"We are pleased to honor another impressive group of athletes as part of this year's Hampshire Honor Society," NFF president and CEO Steve Hatchell said in a news release. "For more than a decade, the Hampshire Honor Society has served as a powerful vehicle for schools to recognize their college football players who have distinguished themselves both academically and athletically, and we congratulate the schools and each of these young men for their commitment to excellence in all aspects of their lives."